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Kosovo: UN Police Raid Prostitution Rings

Pristina, 17 November 2000 (RFE/RL) - Hundreds of NATO soldiers and UN police raided bars and hotels run by organized prostitution rings in Kosovo overnight. The international peacekeepers said a joint team of 45 UN police officers backed by 300 soldiers from Britain and Norway detained five men, seized a small amount of drugs and confiscated five weapons after the raids in Kosovo Polje, just outside of Pristina.

The peacekeepers said Kosovo Polje was a major center for prostitution and trafficking of women. Some of the women have been abducted and most of them were held against their will. The peacekeepers said the brothels in Kosovo Polje were operated by both ethnic Albanians and Serbs who, peacekeepers said, were cooperating.

Kosovo's multinational UN police force last month set up a specialist unit to deal with the trafficking of sex slaves which has flourished in post-war Kosovo.